There are pivotal times in life when you are taught a serious lesson you will never forget; this time for me was one fateful day out trail hunting when my stirrup broke mid-gallop across a rather large field, on an ex-racehorse whose brakes fail on a regular basis.
What lesson did it teach me? Not to scrimp on stirrups.
Becs and I had both bought a pair of ‘cheaper’ flexi-stirrups from a well-known brand, but the one and a half pairs we had left after that valuable life lesson swiftly sent us on a mission to find the best stirrups we could find. I wound my way through all the brands known in the UK but couldn’t really find what we wanted, so Becs searched the US and came across MDC.
MDC stirrups were patented by their incredibly passionate inventor, Martin D. Cohen, who sticks by his claim that he will personally answer any questions that anyone interested in MDC stirrups have. Mr Cohen has also given his stirrups a ‘Product Satisfaction Guarantee’; so, if you are not entirely happy with your stirrups you can return them (used) within 30 days for a refund of the purchase price. This is unknown with other brands, and just one of the attributes that sets MDC apart from the competition.
Martin D. Cohen is a true equestrian, and knows his market inside out so every aspect of the range of stirrups aids the horse rider.
MDC are a breakthrough in the stirrup world, with innovation at the forefront of their mind they have created these incredible forward-facing stirrups. MDC’s question is always 'Is there any reason for stirrups to naturally lay flat against the horse's side?" With the answer being an absolute "NO".
The different angles of the patented top of the Super Sport/Ultimate
Mr Cohen had safety and comfort on top of the checklist when he devised the patented adjustable topped stirrups. The adjustable top means these stirrups can be placed flat, at 45°or 90°to the horse’s side so you can find which position is the most comfortable for you. When you lose a stirrup, it will be easier to find because the stirrups stay open rather than closing back against the horse’s side and, if you fall, the tendency of the stirrup to stay open means you have more time to escape a twisting stirrup so much less chance of being dragged along with the horse. The MDC design allows for more escape room from the top of the tread to the top of the inner stirrup arch. This increased area allows for more ease in escaping a stirrup during a fall than designs with less clearance area.
Due to the fact that the MDC stirrups come to you, rather than you adjusting your position for them, your leg is in a more natural situation which helps to relieve any pain you might have felt in more traditional stirrups.
Multi-Pivitol Shock Absorbing Sides
The Multi-Pivot Point shock absorbing sides also reduce concussion and therefore relieve pain in the ankle, knees, hips and back. This was another major selling point for me as I suffer from a painful knee and both ankles as a result of too many falls! Since using MDC stirrups I have been pain free in the saddle.
The main difference between the Super Sport and the Ultimate is the Super Sport has a wide, low-profile aluminium tread whilst the Ultimate has a more traditional rubber tread this also means the Super Sport is lighter weight.
- The MDC Super Sport features the low-profile, high traction aluminium tread, which delivers more traction, support, comfort and easily releases in a fall.
- The low-profile tread in easily hidden in the show ring, allowing the benefits of the modern design but still providing the classic lines of the more traditional stirrup.
- Lighter weight than the Ultimate - The Super Sport weigh closer to 1.3kg/pair due to the removal the large oval base of the Ultimates and the use of the aluminium treads. Please note that although the wide tread is larger front to back, they are thinner than standard stirrups.
- The MDC Ultimate features a traditional rubber tread providing the classic lines of a more traditional stirrup.
- The Ultimate Stirrups weight about 1.8kg/pair due to the larger piece of stainless steel at the base that holds the rubber tread. This is the design all stirrups have used for decades. MDC do not make an ultra-light stirrup (plastic or fully aluminium) as they are not predictable when lost making for difficult retrieval and less safety.
The MDC ‘S’ is for those riders that appreciate the classic lines of a traditional stirrup, but want the innovation of modern technology. The 45° ‘S’ positioning design provides a natural position for the leg and foot, which in turns relieves pain in the ankles, hips, knees and back – the stirrups come to you rather than you adjusting your position for them.
Innovative 'S' Position
The position of the stirrup, open against the horse’s sides, means much easier to regain a lost stirrup or gives your foot more time to release from a twisted stirrup in the occurrence of a fall. The MDC design allows for more escape room from the top of the tread to the top of the inner stirrup arch. This increased area allows for more ease in escaping a stirrup during a fall than designs with less clearance area.
The difference between the ‘S’ Classic and ‘S’ Flex is the multi-pivot point shock absorbing sides.
- The ‘S’ Classic feature an ultra-low profile, high traction wide tread, which delivers more traction, support, comfort and easily releases in a fall.
- Classic design means riders from all disciplines can have full advantage of a traditional stirrup but with the performance advantages of innovative design.
- The ‘S’ Flex come with Multi-Pivot Point shock absorbing sides to reduce concussion and therefore relieve pain in your ankles, knees, hips and back.
- Ultra-low profile, high traction wide tread, which delivers more traction, support, comfort and easily releases in a fall.
- Lighter weight – 1.18kg/pair
MDC boast a range of sponsored riders that any company would be proud of, and the support for the stirrups is world-wide. Obviously Glaze & Gordon’s opinion matters most (!!) but read some of the comments from International-level riders to help you make up your mind!
Phillip Dutton 2008 Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event Winner
“MDC Stirrups have helped my leg position. Their unique adjustability makes it possible to custom fit your stirrup to your riding needs.”
Steffen Peters 2008 World Cup Champion/United States Olympic Team
“MDC Stirrups are the best and most comfortable stirrups I have ever tried! I highlight recommend them!”
Nic Roldan Captain of the U.S Polo Team with an 8-goal handicap
“The MDC Super Sport Stirrups are my preference of stirrups, I used them for over a year before having any association with the company and at present I believe these are the best on the market for polo.”
Lauren Knopp Dressage FEI dressage trainer/United States Dressage Federation Bronze, Silver & Gold Medalist:
“MDC stirrups have been instrumental in my riding. I used to suffer from ankle and knee pain, and since I’ve used MDC Super Sport Stirrups, my pain instantly stopped. These stirrups are extremely well made and also very useful in day to day riding! I highly recommend MDC stirrups to anyone who wants an enjoyable time in the saddle!”
All in all, we LOVE MDC and think that every horse rider should be using them. If you have any unanswered questions then please let us know and we will forward them on to be answered by the inventor himself. The stirrups come in different sizes too, so you can find your perfect fit with ease.
You can shop our range here (but if you require any other styles then contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org ) :
We understand that stirrups can be a big investment, but if you actually work out the amount it costs you per ride then it wouldn't even cross you mind; we never question the amount we spend on a saddle do we?! Stirrups are a necessity, and learn from my mistake of buying a cheaper pair - it could have ended very badly! MDC keep your peace of mind with their product satisfaction 100% money back guarantee. To encourage you further we are offering an exclusive 10% discount on MDC stirrups until Midnight on Sunday 5th August just use the code MDC10 at checkout!
I am now safe in the knowledge that I won't lose the use of my stirrups during my future gallops, I just have to worry about the brake failures!